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August 14, 2012

Google tweaking Search plus Your world service

Google calls Google+ search results a "learning process."

By Tineka Smith

Google received criticism from Twitter, Facebook and Myspace for promoting its own social network content at the expense of other search results. Twitter released a bold public statement saying that Google’s introduction of Search plus Your World was "bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users."

Many critics accused Google of using its search to boost Google+ to gain a foot above its competitor social networking sites as well as making it hard to find relevant and quality information first.

"For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results anytime they wanted to find something on the Internet," said Twitter in a statement. "Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million Tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant results. We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone."

Google entered into a public argument with Twitter stating that it was "surprised by Twitter’s comments about search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer."

In an interview with the Telegraph, Google’s search chief Amit Singhal now says the Search Plus Your World service has "settled in a place which were better than when we launched."

"I think it’s a learning process, even for us," said Singhal in defence of Google prioritising Google+ results. "We experiment, we learn, we improve, that’s what Google does."

A recent investigation of Google by the FTC has led to the company being fined $22.5m to settle charges for bypassing the privacy settings of Apple users who use the Safari browser.

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The company is also being investigated by European regulators for allegedly manipulating search results to promote its own services.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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